Science, Evidence, and Innovation


Pharmaceutical science encompasses our pharmacy knowledge in the basic, applied and social sciences. It cuts across the discovery, development, delivery, quality, safety, efficacy, regulation, and usage of medicines and medical devices. It spans every aspect of pharmacy practice, underpinning all evidence based pharmacy activity. 

We have a number of programmes to support science, evidence and innovation in pharmacy across all areas of pharmacy and pharmaceutical science, all driven by the RPS ‘New Medicines, Better Medicines, Better Use of Medicines’ roadmap for science.

If you're interested in staying up to date with activities in science and research across all parts of the sector including industry and academia, consider joining one of our networks

This page outlines current work programmes and new projects and includes information of how RPS programmes have been evaluated. 

What we're working on

Mapping the UK research landscape

A two-year project to map the UK pharmacy research and evaluation landscape was started in 2016. Seeking to better understand activity levels for research and evidence generation activities, the project is investigating active work, the research workforce, researchers in training, and topics of published evidence. In 2017, our work will focus on the mapping the workforce and pharmacy publications.

Identifying research priorities

Our New Medicines, Better Medicines, Better Use of Medicines roadmap (2014) sets out a series of challenges and recommendations to improve the evidence base for pharmacy. In 2017, building on initial results from a landscape mapping survey and other national strategic drivers, we will initiate a project with national stakeholders, including the NIHR and pharmacy stakeholders, to identify top research needs across the sector and set our priorities.

Embed research and evaluation in your professional development

We offer a range of programmes and support tools to help you, such as our Research, Evidence and Evaluation toolkit, designed to support you in your professional development.

Find out more about research & evaluation

Our Evaluations

We are committed to actively evaluating our products and services. Examples of recent evaluations and reviews conducted by the RPS include:

Research, Evidence and Evaluation Toolkit (REET) Phase 1 

Following the development of the Research, Evidence and Evaluation Toolkit (REET) in 2016, we are testing and evaluating the toolkit function and utility. Phase 1 of this evaluation was published in July 2017. It identified key actions for development of a second release (phase 2) including linking content to training and resources and providing case studies of activities. Additionally it highlighted that:

    • 82% of participants would recommend the REET to a friend
    • 73% would use the REET to identify new research skills and 55% could use the REET to identify ideas or CPD

2016 Research Review

See a summary infographic of RPS Research activity in 2016 which included

    • 85 one-to-one research support sessions guiding members on engaging in research building research studies
    • development of the Research, Evidence and Evaluation Toolkit (REET)
    • 24 new guidance documents and support tools
    • involvement in 14 national working and advisory groups

Evaluation of Research Ready 

The Research Ready Community Pharmacy Accreditation quality assures community pharmacies as sites for health service research and clinical trials. It can also be used for professional development purposes. In 2016 we reviewed the initial 3 years of the programme and identified 9 recommendations for future activity including to:

    • Engage community pharmacy Faculty members in Research Ready and, vice versa, to engage Research Ready members in Faculty. 
    • Work with national partners to breakdown perceived barriers to research engagement. 
    • Better map and curate potential and active engagement opportunities for community pharmacy with national partners.
    • Facilitate networking opportunities for community pharmacies, including exposure to academic and industry s. 
    • Provide additional training and support to Research Ready pharmacies through RPS guidance and synergise Research Ready learning needs with the wider research training landscape across the UK. 
    • Evidence and embed the Research Ready competencies within the member Faculty cluster and the forthcoming RPS Research, Evidence and Evaluation Toolkit (REET) 

Review of the Map of Evidence 

The RPS Map of Evidence (MoE) is an online resources that collates best practice and other evidence from across pharmacy and pharmaceutical science. In 2015 we initiated a project to redevelop the MoE and to explore stakeholder views on the current system and ideas for the future. RPS Research will be leading redevelopment of the MoE during 2017. Published in 2016 recommendations from the review included:

    • Aims and objective: Embed the Map of Evidence in the wider RPS evidence strategy.
    • Functionality: Improve functionality/usability of the site, in particular the search function (to allow detailed searching) and data capture form. Develop guidance documents and help section for users with step-by-step instructions on how to upload and search information on the database.
    • Data collection: Look high quality evidence identified and uploaded onto the MoE.